The Music of Eric Whitacre

The Music of Eric Whitacre
BUY TICKETS
Tickets on Sale Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Sunday, Apr 15, 2018
8:00 PM
David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center
BUY TICKETS
Tickets on Sale Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Eric Whitacre, Composer/Conductor
The Music of Eric Whitacre
Join DCINY and singers from around the world, and share the honor of singing under the baton of today’s most celebrated choral composer.  Eric Whitacre makes his triumphant return to David Geffen Hall (formerly Avery Fisher Hall), Lincoln Center as part of the Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) Concert series, described by the BBC Music as the “#1 North American Live Event Choice” for classical music.
 
Contact us about this concert and future performance opportunities.

Participating Ensembles:

Lincoln College Chamber Choir
West Islip High School Chorale
Bella Musica
San Jacinto Christian Academy High School Varsity Choir
Matawan HS Huskappella
Chamber Bravura
Chautauqua Lake Secondary Chorus
Oconee County High School Concert Choir
Collins Hill Mastery Chorus
Junction City Chamber Choir

Lincoln College Chamber Choir

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Laurie Lewis-Fritz
Laurie Lewis-Fritz is the Lead Faculty for Vocal Performance at Lincoln College, where she oversees the vocal program, directs its three choirs, and teaches various courses in music. Prior to this position, she was the Director of Music at MacMurray College. She has taught, performed, and music directed across the United States and internationally, including a solo jazz piano/vocal recital in Skopje, Macedonia and choral performances in China. She has led workshops on choral singing and audition techniques across the Midwest, and her arrangements have been performed across Illinois and Iowa. Ms. Lewis-Fritz is a member of ACDA and NATS.

The Lincoln College Chamber Choir is an auditioned group composed primarily of voice majors, voice minors, and students receiving choir scholarships who also sing in the Lincoln College Chorale. The Chamber Choir sings a variety of repertoire, including the classical, musical theater, jazz, Motown, opera, and pop/contemporary genres. The choir maintains a highly active and rigorous performance schedule. It is often invited to represent the vocal program and sing at on- and off-campus events, including alumni gatherings, admissions events, and meetings of the Lincoln College Board of Trustees. The Lincoln College Chamber Choir is under the direction of Laurie Lewis-Fritz.

West Islip High School Chorale

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Mrs. Melissa Senatore
Melissa Senatore has been the choral director at West Islip High School for 6 years and has been a leader in the music department for West Islip Public schools since 2006. With a BM from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music and a MA from Stony Brook University, she has shared her expertise in all genres of music with multiple performing groups in West Islip including a Women’s Choir, Mixed Chorus, acclaimed Jazz/Swing Choir, “Vocal Motion”, as well as her premier vocal ensemble, Chorale. Mrs. Senatore and her husband, Joseph are the proud parents of three beautiful children Cameron, Violet and Jonathan. She is thrilled to share this amazing experience with her students, and is honored to perform at Lincoln Center under the direction of Eric Whitacre!

Chorale is an audition-based ensemble comprised of the most talented vocal students at West Islip High School. They study a range of composers and musical genres, and have performed on numerous stages throughout the United States and Canada including notable venues such as Carnegie Hall. Chorale has earned many awards including Gold with Distinction ratings at NYSSMA’s Major Organization Festival. Each year several students from Chorale are chosen for Regional, State, and National choral honors, and many have gone on to pursue careers in music. Chorale is honored to have been invited to perform in this prestigious concert, and sends their deepest appreciation to DCINY and Eric Whitacre for the opportunity of a lifetime.

Bella Musica

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Larissa Cunningham
Larissa Cunningham began her pursuit of music education after becoming a wife and mother of three boys. She received her Bachelors degree at Texas Tech University, and has since co-founded a women’s community ensemble in Texas. She also teaches music at San Jacinto Christian Academy in Amarillo, TX where she teaches all age groups from elementary to middle and high school choirs.

Bella Musica is a select women’s ensemble established with the desire of several ladies to sing together with the ability to perform choral Music at any level of difficulty. Bella enriches the lives of its performers and audiences by bringing together individuals of diverse backgrounds and interests to share in the preparation and enjoyment of beautifully arranged pieces. The ensemble is comprised of dedicated musicians from various cities throughout the Texas Panhandle. Through their beauty and harmony, these musicians inspire groups and organizations throughout the region. Bella Musica rehearses year-round and performs for many community events. Their Christmas and spring concerts are well attended, and viewed as a family tradition for many in the community. Bella music it was established in 2013 and is located in Borger Texas.

San Jacinto Christian Academy High School Varsity Choir

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Larissa Cunningham
Larissa Cunningham began her pursuit of Music Education after her several years of working as a piano and vocal instructor, and performing in various ensembles. She received her Bachelors Degree at Texas Tech University, and has since co-founded a women's community ensemble her home town of Borger, Texas. She also teaches all grade levels of music at San Jacinto Christian Academy, and the choir she brings to NY is an award winning High School Varsity Choir from Amarillo, Texas.

San Jacinto Christian Academy was founded in 1982, and has a wonderful heritage of success in the Arts. SJCA members are inducted into the Texas All State Choir regularly, and receive the highest ratings at State Solo and Ensemble competitions as well as choral Outstanding Ratings at festivals and TAPPS competitions. Though the group may be small, they are mighty. SJCA thrives in allowing their students new experiences, such as the opportunity with DCINY this year.

Matawan HS Huskappella

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Andre T Baldasserini
Mr. Baldasserini is a graduate of Rutgers University, with a BA in Music (Trumpet / Piano) and Italian. He enjoys a multi-faceted career as an educator, performer, mentor, director, and private instructor, teaching vocal music and Italian at Matawan Regional High School, where he was selected as Teacher of the Year in 2015. He is the director of each of that school’s choirs, as well as the Vocal Music Academy, a four year course designed to prepare students at the secondary level for all aspects of the music profession. Mr. Baldasserini was also the guest conductor for the All Shore Honors Chorus in 2014, and has performed at Carnegie Hall under the direction of John Rutter.

The MRHS Huskapella was formed in 2011, and since then has won the county teen arts competition 6 years in a row. The ensemble has performed at Carnegie Hall performing an Ola Glielo World Premiere, been invited to perform at the NJMEA conference to perform and give a workshop on inter-district collaboration, and has performed on stage with Our of the Blue (Cambridge Universities a capella Group)

Chamber Bravura

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Katherine Anne Girvin
Katherine Girvin, a native of San Diego, attended the University of Missouri, Columbia where she received a Bachelors of Art and Science (2004), a Bachelors of Science in Middle School Education (2005) and a Masters in Education with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction (2006). Katherine has been teaching choral education for nine years and has been working with Chamber Bravura for the last seven years. Katherine is also an Adjunct Professor at San Diego Christian College, where she teaches current teachers, Education majors, and supervises college students in their student teaching assignments in both San Diego and Orange Counties. Katherine has been named Choral Educator of the Year by CMEA Southern Border division (2012) and in the same year received the Mackenzie-Haney award, an Outstanding Choral Educator Award voted on by her colleagues throughout the San Diego Unified School District. Katherine is currently a principal in Borrego Springs Unified School District in San Diego County.

Chamber Bravura is an extra-curricular vocal performance organization that only meets once a week for two hours. It is comprised of 30 vocalists from various middle and high schools in the San Diego area, with the average age being 14 years old. These students perform rigorous choral music through a program of regular rehearsals and concerts. They strive to study and perform challenging and interesting music in a variety of genres. Chamber Bravura has performed in Carnegie Hall 5 times, including being the featured ensemble in Total Vocal 2 and 3 under the direction of Deke Sharon. Chamber Bravura performed a Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica as well as in the Florence Duomo and Pantheon in June, 2013. Chamber Bravura performed a concert tour of Austria and Prague in July, 2014 as well as a concert tour of Ireland, Wales, and England in July of 2015. Chamber Bravura just returned from a tour of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand where they received a Gold rating at an international choral festival, including a performance in the Sydney Opera House. As Chamber Bravura frequently uses Eric Whitacre's works in competitions and festivals, the students are thrilled to be working with him.

Chautauqua Lake Secondary Chorus

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Jennifer Davis
Jennifer Davis is a vocal and general music teacher at Chautauqua Lake Secondary School in Mayville, NY. She directs 3 vocal ensembles in addition to teaching general music, guitar, songwriting and piano/theory. A native of Rochester, NY, Davis earned a Bachelor of Music degree from SUNY Fredonia (1995) and a Master of Music Degree from the Eastman School of Music (2000). Davis is also active in the New York State School Music Association, serving on the Curriculum Committee and as a presenter for both winter and summer conferences.

The Chautauqua Lake Secondary Chorus is a curricular ensemble open to students in grades 9-12. In addition to school performances the group hosts and participates in the NYSSMA Choral Major Organization Festival. The Chautauqua Lake Central School District is located in Mayville, NY and has around 900 students in grades pre-k through 12.

Oconee County High School Concert Choir

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Katie Williams
Katie Williams is in her 22nd year teaching. She is currently the Teacher of the Year at Oconee County High School in Watkinsville, Georgia where she has spent the last 18 years teaching concert choir, show choir, music theory, and musical theater. Katie received her undergraduate degree in Music Education from Converse College in 1996 and a master’s degree in Music Education from The University of Georgia in 2002. Katie lives in Athens, Georgia with her husband Richard and her sons Charlie and James, a freshman, who is a performer in tonight’s concert.

Oconee County High School is located in Watkinsville, Georgia and is one of two high schools in the county. The Concert Choir is made up of 9-12 grade students who come from different ensembles within Oconee County High School. These students have rehearsed long hours during class and outside of class in preparation for this concert. They are grateful to Mr. Eric Whitacre and DCINY for this opportunity to work with him and perform here tonight.

Collins Hill Mastery Chorus

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Mrs. Violet Pledger
Violet Pledger is thrilled to be the Director of Choral Activities at Collins Hill High School. She is a native of Gwinnett County and a graduate of the GCPS System. Mrs. Pledger previously taught in Douglas County for four years as a high school choral director and musical theater teacher. Her choirs have received Superior and Excellent ratings at Large Group Performance Evaluations in both performance and sight-reading. She has served as the Choral Host for Music in the Parks Six Flags Over Georgia for four years. Mrs. Pledger is a Graduate of Georgia Southern University completing a Bachelor’s Degree in both Choral Music Education and Vocal Performance. During her time at GSU, she was regularly chosen to perform on recitals, galas, and studio performances. She was the Choral Assistant and a member of the opera theater program for five years. In her first year at GSU, Mrs. Pledger premiered the role of Mamie Veazey in the American opera of A Scholar Under Siege, and went on to perform in over 20 operas. In addition to Chorus at CHHS, Mrs. Pledger serves as the coach for the Literary Team. She is married to her high school sweetheart Brandon and loves spending time listening to records, cooking, and performing.

The Collins Hill Mastery Chorus consists of 28 superior students. To be selected as a member of this choir, students must have passed a rigorous audition including solo, sight-reading, voice placement, and tonal memory. All students in the mastery choir have earned a 98 or higher percent in chorus for all years. This group is consistently sought after to perform at community events. This choir has received superior ratings in performance and sight-reading at Large Group Performance Evaluation for over ten years. These students represent the true vision of Collins Hill High School and Choral Department: pursue excellence in academic knowledge, skills, and behavior by providing meaningful and diverse learning opportunities for preparing our students to meet the challenges of the future as lifelong learners and responsible citizens.

Junction City Chamber Choir

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Michael Brown and Annika Stucky
Michael Brown is in his sixth year as a music educator. At Junction City High School, he oversees and directs six ensembles, and co-directs and accompanies the musical each year. In his tenure as the head director of vocal music, his students and choirs have attended KMEA All-State Choir and NAfME National Choir, received outstanding ratings at large group and small ensemble festivals, and have had extensive traveling and performance opportunities. His choirs have performed in Carnegie Hall, New York; in San Antonio, Texas at the Alamo Bowl; and at 4th Presbyterian Church in Chicago with René Clausen. He graduated from the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in Ohio where he studied voice and piano; and from the Nazarene Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity. In addition to his position at Junction City High School, Mr. Brown was the worship pastor at the Junction City Church of the Nazarene for 11 years, and is active accompanist in the community.

Annika Stucky is in her second year as a music educator. At Junction City High School, she co-teaches three choirs, orchestra, piano, and co-directs the musical. In her first year at Junction City, her ensembles have received outstanding ratings at contest, including first place at the Festival of Music at Worlds of Fun; and performed at 4th Presbyterian Church in Chicago with René Clausen. She graduated suma cum laude from Kansas State University with degrees in Music Education and Spanish Education, and as the Outstanding Senior in Music Education. While at K-State, Mrs. Stucky was involved in numerous ensembles and performance opportunities, including trips abroad to Italy and France. She studied voice, piano, viola, and was involved with opera productions. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Stucky co-directs the Manhattan Parks and Recreation Youth Choir.

Chamber Choir is the top auditioned ensemble at Junction City High School. It is comprised of between 40 and 45 singers, ages 10th through 12th grade. Students in Chamber Choir compete for District and All-State Choirs and at Regional and State Solo and Small Ensemble contests. Chamber Choir has a long history of excellence, receiving excellent and superior ratings at contest. The choir has also had the privilege to perform under Dr. Joshua Oppenheim and Dr. Julie Yu from Kansas State University at Carnegie Hall in New York; and under Dr. René Clausen from Concordia College at the 4th Presbyterian Church in Chicago. In 2017, Chamber Choir was selected as a featured ensemble for the Kansas Music Educators Association In-Service Workshop Conference.